Men's Shelter of Charlotte

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What Makes MSC Unique? Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about 5 reasons why the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte (MSC) is unique.  Last night I received an email from our program director, Stephanie Shatto, telling the story of a man and his son who had come to the shelter earlier in the day.  This story is an awesome illustration of how MSC is unique so I’m adding a Part 2 to yesterday’s blog and reprinting Stephanie’s email…

I just wanted to take a moment and tell the entire team how thankful I am to work with such an amazing and compassionate group of people.  About 5:30pm on 2/11/15  Mr. Brown [a staff member] came to my office to tell me that he had a father and son (5 year old) that just came to the shelter because they were told that we could help them.  The family came into my office and after a few minutes it was determined that the best course of action was for the family to return to Philadelphia to Grandma’s house (but as the 5 year old explained to me, grandma doesn’t like to be called grandma cause it makes her feel old, so it was off to Ma Ma’s house they wanted to go). 


At 5:45pm as our amazing volunteer group in the kitchen was making final preparations to feed the shelter residents and our overflow guests, they prepared two trays for us so we could provide a hot meal to the family while they were waiting.  While they ate we talked about how they arrived at MSC.  He explained that he and his son where asked to leave where they had been staying and the police had given them a ride to the bus station.  At the bus station he asked if Greyhound would provide him and his son bus tickets back to Philadelphia.  The bus station gave him a few resources, one of them was Traveler’s Aide.  He contacted Traveler’s Aide at 3:00 and they explained that they had already closed for the day and wouldn’t be able to assist him tonight.  So he started down the list of agencies, and the women’s shelter referred him to MSC they told him we could help. 


By 6:00 the family had eaten, we had talked to Ma Ma and she was ready to have her grandson back in Philadelphia.  She thanked us for helping her son and in her words most importantly helping her grandson.  The bus wouldn’t get into Philadelphia until 1:24pm on 2/12/15 so with the help of Eddie Washington [staff member] in the kitchen, the family left with a bag of food to get them through the next few days.  When I returned to the lobby, the 5 year old was entertaining the shelter staff with his jokes and energy.  The family was transported to the Greyhound station. 


In less than two hours a man and his son went from not knowing where they were going to lay their heads at tonight to heading back home to family and support.  This is what we do at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, it’s a team effort and everyone plays such an important part in fulfilling the mission of MSC.  Thank you team for supporting the diversion efforts and the work that is done 24 x 7. 


Carson Dean

In September 2008 I became the Executive Director of the Men's Shelter of Charlotte. I've spent almost 15 years working to end homelessness in North Carolina. After working with homeless and runaway youth in Raleigh, I served as the Director of the South Wilmington Street Center (men's shelter) in Wake County and then worked on Orange County's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. I am a former board chair for the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness and former chair of the Homeless Services Network in Charlotte. In 2014 I served as the partner agency representative on the United Way Central Carolinas board of directors.

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